Review: Blood and Roses by Lylah James

March 8, 2018

Title: Blood & Roses
Series: Tainted Hearts #3.5
By: Author Lylah James
Publisher: Limitless Publishing LLC
Genre: Mafia Romantic Suspense



I was trapped. There was nothing left of me.
Then he came and wanted to make me his.
He saved me. He gave me a home, a family.
He made sweet love to me.
I was his Angel. He was my everything.
I thought we would live happily ever after, but there are no happy endings in the mafia life.
I found this out the hard way, as the blood flowed, red as roses…


Angel. The word meant nothing until I saw her.
I found her in a place worse than hell. She calls me her savior.
But I didn’t save her. I captured the pretty angel and made her mine.
Life was perfect. I had everything I wanted.
I was her salvation. She was my redemption.
Until I lost her.
Angels deserve happy endings, but monsters like me don’t.
My darkness became hers, and our happily-ever-after became tainted.

"I thought we would live happily ever after. But there were no happy endings in this life. I found out the hard way, as the blood flowed red, red as roses..."

I'm not going to lie to you. I dreaded reading this book. Not because I thought it would be bad, but because I assumed it would break my heart. I was right. It did, but it was part of the overall picture that I needed to experience, and for that reason, I'm glad I didn't chicken out.

Maria was such an influence on Alessio's life that I'm glad the author decides to tell her story. I knew she didn't live long. I knew she would meet a tragic end, but that doesn't make her story any less meaningful. If anything, it made it even more so.

Lyov was never the same after Maria met her demise, so I wanted to see him before that tragic night. I wanted to see him in love, and I got that, too. Though their life together began in an unconventional way, nobody would call what was between them anything but unconditional love.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much Lena we got in this book, and I enjoyed learning more about her in her younger years. I loved seeing Lena and Maria as friends and watching her in love with Boris. My heart broke for her just as much as Lyov in this book. She may not have been the main character, but your heart would have to be made of stone not to feel deeply for her.

In other words, the author met all my expectations. I was captivated from the moment the story began, and I flew through it in no time! Flipping through the pages like crazy and reading as fast as I possibly could, I practically devoured the last half of the book. I needed to see exactly what happened that night! When I finally got to it, it was just as horrific as I expected. I fought back tears the whole time I read it. Lylah did not pull any punches, folks. Be prepared!

Blood and Roses is the steamy, sweet, emotional, and tragic tale of Maria and Lyov's love from beginning to end. I guess I shouldn't say end, because a love like that never really ends. Does it?

"Love stories like ours didn't have endings. It lived on forever. As beautiful and as flawed as it was. Until we meet again, Angel."

If you have read the Tainted Hearts series up to this point, this is a must read!



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“I am a mad man, Maria. And you tested my patience today,” he hissed, his face coming so close to mine and I shivered in his hold.
My hand came up and gripped his wrist, not to dislodge his hold from my throat but to keep it there. His eyes flared dangerously and I knew I was playing with fire.
“I am sorry,” I whispered.
“No. I don’t think you are.”
Shock coursed through my body at his words and I flinched. The tears made another appearance. I tried to deny his claim but the look on his face stopped me.
“Stand up,” he ordered softly. But oh, it was every bit menacing.
My body was his, my mind was his…and I obeyed instantly. There was no hesitation. His grip released my throat and I stood up on shaking legs in front of Master.
“You broke my rules, Maria. The rules are there to protect you and you consciously went against me. I can’t keep you safe like this.”
My chin wobbled against the effort to keep my tears at bay. I was ashamed. Embarrassed. And wanted nothing more than for Lyov to just hold me.
But he was angry. I’d made him angry.
“You know what happens when you break one of my rules. You are aware of the consequences,” he continued in the same harsh, rough voice.
I nodded silently.
“Your words,” he demanded. Each word hit me like a harsh lash against my fragile skin. Lyov was brutal.
“Yes. I am aware of the consequences, Master.” Maybe…just maybe that was why I did it.
He stared me down, his grey eyes icy. “Good. Undress then.”
I went to quickly do as I was told, gripping my nightgown and starting to pull it over my head but Lyov’s voice stopped me.
“Slowly, Maria. Undress slowly for me.”
His words sent a shiver down my body, all the way to my toes. My thighs clenched. Lyov sat back lazily and watched me intently. Without taking his eyes off me, he took a bottle of scotch from the small table beside him and poured some in a glass.
His head was cocked to the side as he brought the glass to his lips and sipped slowly. The darkness in his eyes didn’t disappear. It was still there and more. Intense. Furious. Dangerous.
There was a fiery need inside of me. My hands trembled as I brought them up to unbutton my nightgown. My fingers fumbled with the buttons and Lyov watched me with rapt attention, an eyebrow raised mockingly.
Finally, when all six buttons were open, I breathed out a sigh. My hands paused and my stomach clenched. Slowly, like Lyov wanted me to, I pushed the nightgown down my shoulders and then my arms before it pooled at my feet.
I was left with only my bra and panties. The cold air caressed me and goosebumps rose on my skin. I shivered even though Lyov’s heat was penetrating into my every pore.
His gaze was filled with danger, brutality…and need.
At the thought of Lyov being in complete control and seeing him exude dominance with just a mere glance, or just a simple word—it had my senses in override.


#1 The Mafia and His Angel: Part One


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#2 The Mafia and His Angel: Part Two


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#3 The Mafia and His Angel: Part Three


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Lylah James lives somewhere in Canada. She is usually pretty busy but she uses all her spare time to write. If she is not studying, sleeping, writing or working – she can be found with her nose buried in a good romance book, preferably with a hot alpha male.

Writing is her passion. The voices in her head won’t stop and she believes they deserve to be heard and read. Lylah James writes about drool worthy and total alpha males, with strong and sweet heroines. She makes her readers cry – sob their eyes out, swoon, curse, rage and fall in love. Mostly known as the Queen of cliffhanger and the #evilauthorwithablacksoul, she likes to break her readers’ hearts and then mend them again.




  1. Fabulous review jessica!!! Loved the excerpt too!! Shared on all my socials!!

  2. Thank you so much, Kathy!! 💋💋